Reborn After Widowhood

Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 170

Chapter 170


The Chen Mansion was closer to the imperial city, and Chen Tingjian used the carriage to go there.

Although the He Mansion was far away, He Qingxian came on a mule. The tall and strong black mule was carrying only a skinny old man, so it would definitely be faster than pulling a cart.

So when Chen Tingjian got off the carriage, he looked up and saw He Qingxian who was riding a mule across the front of his carriage.

The big black mule snorted, and Chen Tingjian’s eyebrows twitched.

He Qingxian got off the mule and handed the reins to the palace servant. He straightened his robe and looked at Chen Tingjian: “Would you please go first?”

Chen Tingjian did not need to be polite with him. He smoothed his long beard with one hand and walked forward.

The wind was light today, causing his long beard to flutter slightly. He Qingxian took a few glances at him and said, “I’ve wanted to ask you for a long time, why do you keep such a beard? It’s so troublesome to take care of it.”

Chen Tingjian just walked with his eyes looking forward.

He Qingxian: “I know. It must be because your career path is too flat and you are young and have no foundation. Growing a beautiful beard not only add some dignity, but also make you look knowledgeable and qualified to be the crown prince’s teacher.”

Chen Tingjian: “If you have the energy to think about these things, you might as well think about how to cooperate with me to implement the new policy.”

He Qingxian: “On Land Measurement last time I only follow you, this time it’s time to switch sides.”

Chen Tingjian: “It’s not up to you to decide whether to switch or not.”

He Qingxian: “You are just a coward!”

Chen Tingjian walked a few steps to the side silently. The palace road was so wide that there was no need for him to walk shoulder to shoulder with He Qingxian.

But He Qingxian insisted on following him.

The guards standing on both sides and the palace servants passing by saw the two cabinet elders chasing each other as they walked forward. Occasionally, Cabinet Elder He wanted to pull Cabinet Elder Chen’s sleeve, but was rudely shaken off by Cabinet Elder Chen.

Outside the Qianqing Palace, Emperor Yuanyou stood in front of the white marble railing and watched the two cabinet elders walk through the palace gate. They were still pulling each other as they passed through the gate, and only stopped when they saw him.

Emperor Yuanyou smiled.

Ever since He Qingxian came to the capital, Chen Tingjian had become more and more like an ordinary minister. He was no longer as high and mighty as before, as if he has no flaws at all.

“It’s cold outside, why did Your Majesty come out without a cloak?”

Coming closer, Chen Tingjian asked with concern.

Emperor Yuanyou: “The earth dragon is too stuffy, so Zhen came out to take a breath. Zhen has rudely invited you, hope it didn’t disturb you and Cabinet Elder He’s rest?”

He Qingxian smiled and said, “This minister is living alone in the capital. When resting also still think about the new policy. This minister really looking forward to come to the palace to accompany you.”

Chen Tingjian: “This minister has nothing to do either, but Cabinet Minister He seems to say that he’s feeling lonely. Your Majesty may want to reward one or two beauties to take care of him.”

He Qingxian: “No, this minister can’t afford it. If Your Majesty wants give reward, please give it to Cabinet Elder Chen. Anyway, this minister can’t give birth to a son anyway. If you give the beauty to Elder Chen, you can also add a few top scholars to the court.”

Emperor Yuanyou: “Okay, okay, come in with Zhen, let’s talk about some serious matters.”

The young emperor walked in front, while the two cabinet elders secretly threw few glares at each other.

Tea and fruits had already been prepared in the imperial study. Emperor Yuanyou sat on a warm couch with two large spacious chairs covered with brocade cushions in front of it.

Chen Tingjian thanked him before sitting down, stroking his beard and saying, “Your Majesty summoned this minister to the palace, is there something to discuss?”

Emperor Yuanyou: “Of course it’s for next year’s tax reform. Mother Empress agrees with your One Whip policy, and Zhen also think it is very safe. However, Cabinet Elder He’s inspiring words are not alarmist talk. So Zhen want to ask you, if Zhen choose Cabinet Elder He’s tax reform policy, will it be difficult for the court to implement it?”

He Qingxian’s eyes lit up: “Your Majesty is truly an excellent ruler. Whether our dynasty can be revived depends on your Majesty alone!”

Emperor Yuanyou raised his hand and signaled to silent He Qingxian. He knew very well that although He Qingxian’s method was very good, whether it could be implemented still depended on Chen Tingjian.

Chen Tingjian frowned, lowered his eyes and thought for a moment, looked at He Qingxian, then looked at Emperor Yuanyou and said, “It is indeed difficult. It’s the ancestral system that exempts the vassal princes and imperial relatives from land tax…”

He Qingxian: “The ancestral system does not allow them to harm the common people. Have they listened? Your Majesty, rest assured that the court will continue to exempt the land tax from all the land that the ancestors bestowed on the vassal princes and imperial relatives. However, except for this part, they should pay taxes, which is not a violation of the ancestral system. After all, the ancestors did not expect them to dare to encroach on the people’s land.”

Emperor Yuanyou nodded. The vassal princes were best at bringing up the ancestral system of their founding ancestor. But with He Qingxian here, he could use the ancestral system to shut the vassal princes up.

“If we really adopted this strategy, Zhen will summon the twenty-one vassal princes to the capital next year and persuade them with reason and affection.”

Chen Tingjian paused and said, “Even if the vassal princes are willing to cooperate, there are still the officials and gentry in the world. They have enjoyed tax exemption for a thousand years. If the court suddenly asks them to pay taxes, afraid the local gentry will incite the people to rebel.”

He Qingxian: “They are reluctant to part with their money, but they certainly value their lives more. Arrest and slash the one that first stick out, kill the chicken to scare the monkeys, ensure that the others will behave themselves!”

Chen Tingjian looked at Emperor Yuanyou and said, “The literati dare not rebel with force, but they will use words to curse the court and Your Majesty, and they will continue to curse for generation to generation. Officials from all over the country will also deliberately submit such memorials to the capital. Is Your Majesty really not afraid of having to bear the infamy among the people?”

Emperor Yuanyou sneered and said, “What does Zhen has to fear? What Zhen want is peace and prosperity for the country and the people, and for the ancestral foundation to last for hundreds and thousands of years.”

The young emperor was too arrogant, so He Qingxian poured cold water on him: “Let’s not talk about thousands of years. As long as the dynasty can be revived by Your Majesty and continue for another two hundred years, your achievements will be on par with those of Taizu and Chengzu.”

Emperor Yuanyou didn’t mind that the water was cold. To really able to achieve the same level as his two ancestors, he was already amazing!

Chen Tingjian: “Does Your Majesty really want to use Cabinet Elder He’s new policy?”

Emperor Yuanyou suddenly became nervous. This old man always kept his word. If he nodded at this moment, would the old man threaten him with his resignation?

If Chen Tingjian really resigned, He Qingxian, a great official with great enthusiasm but no means to restrain the officials, would not be able to implement any new policies.

He considered and said, “If you really feel it’s inappropriate, then forget it.”

Chen Tingjian smiled and said, “This minister has never felt that it’s inappropriate, but just think that this road is difficult. This minister is not afraid of difficulties, but this minister is afraid that Your Majesty will be criticized by thousands of people, and that Your Majesty cannot bear the pressure from both within and outside the court. As long as this minister is still here, this minister will do his best to share Your Majesty’s burdens. But this minister is old, and reform is not a one-day job. Even the “One Whip Law” will need more than ten years to consolidate. Implementing equal taxation for officials and gentry, as well as land tax integration even need the persistence of two to three generations of emperors to truly established. Your Majesty, this minister is afraid that this minister can’t assist you for much longer, and even more afraid that after this minister is gone, Your Majesty will have to bear the backlash of officials and gentry alone, which will be too arduous.”

He smiled openly, and the look he gave Emperor Yuanyou was that of a subject to his ruler and also a teacher to his disciple, mixed with a kind of love that was almost kinship.

There was one thing Chen Tingjian didn’t say.

The young emperor, who was taught by him personally, had never suffered any hardship. When he was gone, he would be satisfied if the emperor could stick to the One Whip method. He had no confidence in the emperor if he switch to He Qingxian’s method.

He Qingxian was too scholarly. He could indeed uphold his moral principles throughout his life, but how could he expect to make a young emperor resolutely walk down a thorny road with just a few words?

When they were around, they could push the emperor forward. When they were buried in the ground, the people around the emperor would only rush to pull the emperor back.

If you can’t stick to it, it’s better to choose a path that is easier to stick to from the beginning.

But the appearance of He Qingxian allowed the emperor to see another option.

But in the end Chen Tingjian was willing to let the emperor choose himself. He and He Qingxian should be able to accompany the emperor for another ten years or so. If the emperor was tired by then, it would still be time for him to adjust the new policy.

Emperor Yuanyou saw the gentleness and tolerance in the old man’s eyes.

That look was very similar to the look in the old man’s eyes when he pulled his beard as a child.

Emperor Yuanyou suddenly turned around and said, “You step back first. Zhen will think about this alone.”

Chen Tingjian and He Qingxian: “Yes.”

After the two men left, Emperor Yuanyou could no longer control himself and let out a sob that he tried hard to suppress.

Parents who love their children would plan for them in the long run.

He had a father, but after his father left the court, most of his attention was on women. The greatest effort his father made for him, together with his mother, was selecting Chen Tingjian as his teacher.

He had a mother, who was much stricter than Chen Tingjian. She treated him like an emperor and would not tolerate any sand in her eyes. She would definitely make plans for him, but there was only so much she could do, and she still had to rely on Chen Tingjian.

Chen Tingjian, that old man Chen.

Emperor Yuanyou had resented and hated him, and when he hated him most, he wished the old man was swept away by the flood in Lingzhou.

There was no doubt about the old man’s ability, but when He Qingxian proposed the equal taxation for the officials and gentry, and when He Qingxian scolded the old man for not daring to offend officials and gentry, at that moment, Emperor Yuanyou actually agreed and felt that He Qingxian was the one who truly loved the country and the people.

But the old man’s words just now suddenly made Emperor Yuanyou realize that the old man not only cared about the court and the people, but also him.

What He Qingxian longed for was clean government and prosperous people. What the old man saw was the best step he could take for the court, the people and himself.

Inside the imperial study room where the heating was on, the young emperor took out a handkerchief and secretly wiped away his tears.

That stinky old man still looked down on him. The old man must have been in his seventies or eighties when he passed away, and he would only be in his thirties or forties at that time. Why couldn’t he stand on his own?

After calming down, Emperor Yuanyou took out a mirror, made sure there was nothing wrong with his eye, and then called the two cabinet elders in.

Chen Tingjian and He Qingxian stood before the emperor again.

Emperor Yuanyou said bluntly: “Zhen has made the decision to implement the policy of requiring imperial clansmen, officials and gentry to pay taxes together and land tax integration. Zhen also ask the two Cabinet Elders and the cabinet to formulate a set of practical new policy details as soon as possible.”

He Qingxian looked at Chen Tingjian.

Chen Tingjian bowed his head and said respectfully, “This minister obey the order.”

Emperor Yuanyou looked at He Qingxian again and said, “Although this policy was suggested by Cabinet Elder He, the specific implementation should still be led by you, Sir.”

He Qingxian never thought of arguing about this, and replied: “This minister understand. This minister is willing to be at the service of Your Majesty and Cabinet Elder Chen.”

Emperor Yuanyou: “This road is very difficult. Please take care of yourself and help Zhen walks a little further.”

The two cabinet elders knelt down at the same time and kowtowed to receive the emperor’s decree.

Zhen still have to inform Mother Empress, you can leave first.”

Chen Tingjian hesitated to speak.

Emperor Yuanyou gave him a look that told him not to worry.

Chen Tingjian and He Qingxian then withdrew from the Qianqing Palace.

The palace road was long, and He Qingxian still walked beside Chen Tingjian, whispering: “You wanted me to go to the capital, afraid you had expected this day to come, right?”

He knew that Chen Tingjian also hated the two major cancers of vassal princes and corrupt officials. He was a shrewd man, and recommended him to join the cabinet probably to find a helper.

Chen Tingjian looked at him and suddenly smiled in an unfathomable way.

He Qingxian: “What do you mean?”

Chen Tingjian didn’t say anything.

When they reached the palace gate, He Qingxian stopped the carriage and refused to let him get in. Chen Tingjian looked him up and down and said with a faint smile, “Two years ago, I always thought that we would not be able to meet again until we die.”

He Qingxian: …

The author has something to say:

He: Old fox, still so stubborn.

Chen: [unfathomable.jpg]

Previous     TOC     Next

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *